Best Places to Live

State College, PA

Population: 42,129
Jeff Adkins

Nestled in the middle of Pennsylvania, State College is not only a top college town, but also a Best City for Entrepreneurs and home to one of the Best Summer Festivals. Penn State University creates an entrepreneurial pipeline of students to a flourishing workforce, making State College, PA a fantastic place to learn, work and play.

Frequently referred to as a “Public Ivy,” Penn State creates a competitive but nurturing environment for students to grow into their careers. It’s known nationally for its startup assistance offerings with TechCelerator @ State College and Lion Launchpad. Additionally, entrepreneurs in State College can take advantage of organizations like the Centre Region Entrepreneur Network and the New Leaf Initiative.

Industries that thrive in State College include: arts and entertainment, health care, scientific management, retail trade and, of course, primarily education. Some of the city’s major employers are Penn State, Mount Nittany Health, Glenn O. Hawbaker Inc. and Weis Markets Inc.

Other amenities of State College is its high walkability rate, quality health care, affordable housing, and of course, there’s always something to do. The town is only a 90-minute drive from Harrisburg, but has it’s own bustling entertainment scene. Dining at the beloved Herwig's Austrian Bistro, visiting art museums, perusing the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center, and tailgating a Lions football game are just a few things available to visitors and residents. Specifically, during the summer, more than 100,000 people from all over the state to experience Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts, in which streets become canvases for more than 300 artists to showcase their art, music, galleries, and shops.


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